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A Christian Jihad? Self-Defense as a New Crusade?

What do you do if you are a Christian living in an area now overrun by ISIS (say in Lebanon, Syria, or Iraq)?

According to just war theory, and at least one traditional Christian view of self-defense, one option is joining a local militia of your countrymen (or your ethnic minority, as typical in that region), take up arms, and defend the lives of your family and neighbors.  ISIS constitutes a threat real and serious enough that this may be necessary, if fleeing the area is not possible.

But some Christians facing this threat are now calling for a distinctly "Christian" militia to wage a "holy" war on Islam as a means of self-defense.  A Christian Call for Jihad.  Here is a "rubber hits the road," situation, if I've ever seen one.

While I am more than willing to cut much slack to those whose very lives are endangered by ISIS Islamists, I cringe at the sentiments spelled out by the embattled leaders of those calling for a Christian Jihad, and a new crusade as a form of self-defense.

True love is never settled by compromise, but through bloodshed. Christ said,  “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) And the Christian militias who have risen up to fight the torrent of the Islamic sword that seeks to destroy their friends, their brethren, these are the ones who exemplify this eternal passage in the purest fashion.

These Christians are part of The New Militia, or the militia that foreshadows The New Crusade that is to come, in which Christendom will revive and destroy the enemies of God and the haters of the Cross, and establish the holy light over the wretched shadow of Satan’s darkness.

The Christian militias in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and other lands inflicted by the violent inflictions of Islam, are truly pioneers that cause us to foresee the advent of the most holy Crusade, in which nations of mighty Christendom will revive themselves, pick up the Cross and with Christ as their General, destroy the armies of the Antichrist.

One of the fighters mentioned in the article states,

I want to say also that the first enemy of us, isn’t Islam, the first enemy for us is the weak Christians that do not have the courage enough to spread the Bible

The Creed of these "Christian fighters" is chilling

Awaken, holy Christendom!
Blossom with your beautiful pedals in the spring of the holy fray!
Take your inheritance, O holy Christendom,
From the pagans who stole it away!
Conquer with Cross and Sword!
Fight for Heaven and Your Lord!
Drive out the Muslim!
Drive out the Sodomite!
Drive the devils away with all your might!
With zeal we fight for God
And all the saints of holy martyrdom
For the blood of glorious martyrs
Awaken, O Christendom

Islamic efforts to restore the Caliphate, now give rise to a call for a counter-balancing Christendom, in which all enemies of General Jesus have been defeated.  "If they want their caliphate, we'll have our renewed Christendom."  Sadly, the argument has emotional legs given the fact that modern national borders (Syria, Iraq and Lebanon) were arbitrarily drawn by the victors after World War One.  The modern national boundaries which matter to us, are virtually meaningless to people whose historic ties and ideological roots go back to their ethnic communities, and to those two religious-political empires which for centuries waged war upon each other.  

No doubt, the problems here are deep and beyond an immediate solution, but calls for a restored Caliphate or a renewed Christendom, only guarantee continuing violence and bloodshed.

Very bad things often happen when people find themselves in dire straights--the threats these Christians face real and unlike anything I'll ever likely face.  But when a legitimate case for armed self-defense is transformed into a call for a "Holy War" and a "New Crusade," it is apparent that the two kingdoms have been hopelessly confused, and the situation illustrates that until NATO and/or the UN can restore the peace, the temptation to wage war and kill your enemies in the name of Jesus will surely continue.

Self-defense and protection of your neighbor is required in the face ISIS-led bloodshed.  But Jihad, "Holy War" and a restored Christendom have little to do with legitimate self-defense.

Reader Comments (5)

One would think that you would be leading the charge in the "Christian jihad" since it is a perfect fit with the a-mill nonsense that you still promote. It is one of the high doctrines of your a-mill nonsense (aka heresy) that "Christians" must subdue the rest of the world "for Christ" before Christ will be allowed to return to earth (you never have explained that one) so why don't you stop playing the hypocrite and lead the way?
January 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDarrel

There is no possible response to such willful ignorance.
January 23, 2015 | Registered CommenterKim Riddlebarger
Be wise as serpents but gentle as doves...ever see a dove protect it's baby's. Get ready to see God fight for his own as in the days of old. Yes there are many aspects to this story of the last days. For instance what happens to the whore church in Rev17, the ten kings set her on fire and burn her flesh. Many who live in the heart of the beast today who call themselves Christ worship the beast as well. God bless America. And on top of that they refuse to give God the glory for their salvation, yes they make themselves co-redeemers adding something the gospel does not say. In fact just the opposite in John1:13, that's for those of you who still put your faith in free will. Could it be this is how God is separating the sheep from the goats. Or is this really judgement for Americans falling away from their theosophical four fathers who were a pack of deist who hated the thought of God sending his son to die.
Just a thought...
January 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan
The Kingdom of Christ enters by way of the eternal Gospel of salvation through, the preaching of Christ, Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

I am a member of Christ Reformed Church (Kim Riddlebarger is my beloved pastor). I just returned from Muslim lands where I was bringing the Gospel. You would be surprised who He calls to faith -- Muslims are just sinners just like you and I who need Christ.

God opens hearts and minds of even this most hardened Muslims as He calls His elect through the Gospel. Pray for our dear brothers and sisters in Christ in Muslim lands who are counted as sheep for the slaughter, that they may be brave and faithful to Christ even when it does mean death.
January 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy
It is one thing for Christians to organize with the goal of self defense, it's entirely something else for the Church to organize to this same end. But what if Christians from one church, in lets say Syria, decide they need to organize a means of defense against, an oncoming group of ISIS fighters? They do not do so as "The First Reformation Church of Syria", but rather as Christians, and Syrians. So they are not functioning as "the Church", or "a church", but rather as Christians and Syrians preparing to protect life. Is this different than the "Christian Jihad"? Is the issue one functioning as the Church and in the name of Christ?
October 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

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